Where Does Rothstein Rank in History?

Florida Gov. Frederick Cone, left, attends the wedding of infamous BSO Sheriff Walter Clark, at right.
Florida Gov. Frederick Cone, left, attends the wedding of infamous BSO Sheriff Walter Clark, at right.
Florida Archives

Obviously a slow day, but there are always the small outrages. Like the fact that the Sun-Sentinel named the federal corruption probe in Broward County that nabbed Joe Eggelletion and Beverly Gallagher and has several other politicians trembling the eighth-biggest story of the year. Yes, the stories were supposedly placed in "no particular order," but putting the corruption story at the bottom is still just plain silly.

Scott Rothstein, of course, was named by the paper as the number-one story. Just about everybody I talk to believes the Rothstein saga is the biggest story ever to hit Broward County in its history. Here are couple of challengers:

-- Broward pioneer Frank Stranahan's suicide in 1929. Stranahan, distraught over the market crash, tied a heavy steel grate around his neck and jumped in

the New River. That insane tale has to be in the running.

[UPDATED: Commenter Steve-O throws in the Kathy Willets scandal below, and I have to agree it deserves mention. Willets, for those of you who don't know the story, was a suburban prostitute married to a BSO deputy. Her often wealthy and prominent clients would come to her home for action, and her hubby would hide in the closet to videotape his wife's work. The kicker: One of her main clients was moralizing Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Doug Danziger, who was in the midst a grandstanding campaign to outlaw strip clubs. He resigned during the maelstrom, and Willets went on to become a porn star. (Oh, and on top of it, there was Willets lawyer Ellis Rubin and his famed "nymphomania defense." He claimed Willets needed eight men a day thanks in part to the side effects of Prozac.)]    

I really can't think of any others in the same cagetory right now. There are, of course, a few national stories set in Broward that might trump them, but I think the comparison is apples and oranges. The death of Anna Nicole Smith at the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood is one of them. It captured the nation's attention for far too long (thanks in part to idiot Judge Larry Seidlin). Then there's the 2000 presidential election, which played out big-time in Broward, along with Palm Beach and Dade. Even September 11 had a strong connection to Broward, as Atta and some of his cohorts lived in Broward and planned their assault on the World Trade Center here.

None of those stories, though, are intrinsic to this place. They were just quirks of geography, accidents of history that have made Broward sort of the Forrest Gump of locales in American history.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >